It’s the other side of the coin when you change status. It must be assumed every week, every day and even every hour otherwise criticism can quickly arrive. This is what the Bordeaux-Bègles Union has been going through for a while now. Third in the Top 14, qualified for the second year in a row for the final stages, the UBB does not, however, approach the reception of Racing 92 in the play-off this Sunday (9 p.m.) in the best possible mood at the Chaban-Delmas stadium.
The fault of a series of ten defeats in the last thirteen games of the club. While it is still too early to speak of a growth crisis, today there is a real crisis of results. And inevitably this has provoked the wrath of Christophe Urios for a few weeks. After the last defeat against Perpignan, the Bordeaux manager once again pointed out the state of mind of his players. Players who “choose” their matches a little too much according to him. He also called on them to take responsibility during his final stages of the Top 14.
Managers took matters into their own hands
A message received 5 out of 5 by his group and moreover, he “expected no less”. “It’s up to the leaders to go ahead, explains the boss of the UBB. As of Monday morning, they came to see me, telling me that they wanted to do things. I didn’t have a meeting on Monday and Tuesday. They are the ones who made the meetings. “A logical approach” for captain Mahamadou Diaby: “We are lucky to have experienced players in the group and at times like these, it is important that these executives give the guideline, the way. We refocused on us to have clear ideas. Still, this has to translate into a reaction on the pitch on Sunday evening.
The watchword is simple: “Stop lowering your head”, insists Maxime Lucu. For the scrum-half of the XV of France, it’s time “to stop thinking about the past, stop thinking about it and asking yourself questions and above all you have to be positive”. This is the message that the executives have tried to convey to get out of this bad spiral. “We also did some very good things this season, we saw those moments again, it was important. You really have to stop looking down. We have been working in this direction in recent days and in silence, ”recalls Lucu. No player came to face the press in the middle of the week.
“They want me to shut up. I am only waiting for that ! »
Christophe Urios was present on Wednesday and then this Saturday. The first time to say that he “did not regret” his media release after the Catalan rout and the second to remind everyone that “the justice of the peace” is Sunday and not the week in training. In any case, he felt a “different tension” especially vis-à-vis his staff and especially him. “They are at war with me and they want me to shut up. I’m just waiting for that and I’ll be the first happy if they do,” admits the Bordeaux manager.
But apart from his usual speeches, he took a step back. It’s not easy to make yourself small for the charismatic colossus with an inimitable banter. A situation which he prefers to have fun with: “I will still keep the prerogative of the team composition and I will still be at the match on Sunday, huh (smile). Solutions, I have plenty. Will they work, I don’t know. Saying nothing for two days was one. If things go well for us, I’ll keep my mouth shut until the end of the season. You will miss that (laughs). “We still put on a piece that he will find it difficult to keep his mouth shut and that the real Christophe Urios may quickly miss his players.
Urios regrets the lack of outside pressure
The Union Bordeaux-Bègles manager also hopes that there will (finally) be a little tension and pressure in the stands. This is one of the things he regrets since his arrival in Gironde. Bordeaux tranquility is not really his thing. He had pointed the finger at it a few weeks ago when his team was losing at home. Few critics, a public far too nice for his taste… “It’s something he tries to fight against, this lack of popular and somewhat mediatic pressure”, develops one of his relatives.
Christophe Urios is indeed one of his coaches who think that pressure is a good thing. A reflection that he developed in particular with one of the greatest mental trainers, that of the All Blacks, Ceri Evans. Frédéric Rey-Millet, has written two books with the Bordeaux coach, he returned to this subject this week with France Bleu: “The All Blacks when they lose a match, they do not leave their homes for two weeks. There is not enough outside pressure because in the end here, maybe we have gotten used to being satisfied already with being in the final stages. There is not necessarily a hatred of defeat among the environment. And there, if we get eliminated we will say to ourselves, it was still not bad. “Except that the UBB has changed its status and now targets the Shield of Brennus every season.